The hits just keep on coming: The Music Publishers' Association wants to crack down on sites offering scores, tablature and lyrics.

He said unlicensed guitar tabs and song scores were widely available on the internet but were "completely illegal".

Mr Keiser said he did not just want to shut websites and impose fines, saying if authorities can "throw in some jail time I think we'll be a little more effective".

Let's become a cultureless society so a few people can get rich! YAAAAAYYYYY!

Posted by roy on December 9, 2005 at 10:33 AM in Ramblings | 10 Comments

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Comment posted on December 10th, 2005 at 02:36 PM
Jail for copying a song. Sounds a bit extreme. With the Patriot Act though you never know. They can do anything now in the name of anti-terrorism. :-(
Comment posted on December 10th, 2005 at 10:21 AM
No, Roy, let's become a lawless society. Let's abolish property rights in the name of culture.
Comment posted on December 10th, 2005 at 02:09 PM
You cannot own culture. I support short-term copyrights so artists can be fairly compensated for their works, but the levels that the RIAA, MPAA, MPA are twisting the law is absolutely ridiculous.

The Sonny Bono Copyright Extension Act was the worst piece of legislature, save the DMCA. There is absolutely no justification that an artist's family should benefit financially from their works - once a person is dead, as far as I'm concerned, their contributions to society are no longer 'owned' by any entity.

Intellectual property has its place, but it's gone way too far. If companies are being formed whose only purpose is to have a patent portfolio and to sue other companies for money, there is a legitimate problem.
Comment posted on December 10th, 2005 at 04:08 PM
What do you mean by "fairly compensated"? Who decides? No one can decide but the artist. That's how free trade works.

An artist is not forced to produce art for society's sake, nor should he be. He is an individual, acting freely, creating what is rightfully his. You cannot dispute this.

Because he owns his artwork, he controls all aspects of its existence - its distribution (if any), its disposal, and its use. That is what it means to own something. Music is not somehow exempted from ownership by virtue of its artistic nature. No art is.

Art, including music, can be willed to whomever the artist chooses, and in the absence of an explicit heir, it rightfully goes to the artist's family, just like everything else. Would you disagree if we were speaking of paintings? What about money?

What's the difference?

You can own culture, sure as you can own a car. You should own culture. If culture were de facto public domain (having short-term compensation, the amount and length of which are decided by bureaucrats, hardly constitutes ownership), no one but socialists like Bono would attempt artwork.

Intellectual property does not "have its place." It is either recognized or not. To curtail its legitimacy is tantamount to either denying that it exists in the first place or willfully doing wrong.

My purpose in writing this is not to debate law and policy with you, but rather to establish a context in which to do just that, and to address your affront to the concept of property rights.
Comment posted on December 10th, 2005 at 05:58 PM
Ok, I just realized I could have posted that repsonse much more succintly:

Property rights, IP is great. What I don't like is how current IP/property rights are being twisted to also include derivations of work. We are getting to a point where derivations of work are becoming more difficult.
Comment posted on December 10th, 2005 at 05:57 PM
First, let me say that I'm not opposed to property law or IP.

My problem is that using bad legislation from Congress, the RIAA and other organizations are attempting to twist copyright laws into completely stifling creativity.

Art and culture always builds upon the past. Band cite previous bands as influences, artists cite movements, etc. Even companies like Disney relied on the stories of the Brothers Grimm to produce one of the greatest American cultural icons (Mickey Mouse). The point is that the public domain is <em>required</em> in order for a culture to thrive.

The problem is that IP's been twisted to the point where companies can patent processes (Amazon holds a patent on "one-click checkout on e-commerce sites", which is why so many companies force you to click twice). As far as I'm concerned, attacking sites that post lyrics is akin to painters claiming that people cannot post pictures of the paintings online.

You can claim ownership to a song, but you sure as hell cannot claim ownership to the words of a song that someone else has transcribed. If I listen to a song I like and transcribe the score and lyrics... this is now illegal. You cannot tell me, given how much transcription work you do, that this is right.
Comment posted on December 10th, 2005 at 06:31 PM
Ok, I'll concede you these for now, because I wasn't really attacking your critique of the legislation (I think it's bullshit too, for different reasons), just the principles upon which you based said critique.

I will make a distinction, however, between transcribing for yourself, and making money off a site with transcriptions as content, or even just hosting a forum in which transcriptions are uploaded/viewed.

I want also to say that if a painter doesn't want pictures of his painting to be put online, he has the right to prohibit it.
Comment posted on December 10th, 2005 at 06:50 PM
"I want also to say that if a painter doesn't want pictures of his painting to be put online, he has the right to prohibit it."

To me, all professions and actions have an implicit consequence. If you have painted an item for yourself, you have this right. The moment you sell it or display it in a public exhibition, those rights go out the window. If you don't want your works to be rebroadcast into the public domain, then don't show it to start.
Comment posted on December 9th, 2005 at 11:52 PM
they should make more difficult music.
Comment posted on December 9th, 2005 at 02:53 PM
I think artists would generally support tab sites. I mean, a kid strumming Death Cab to his girlfriend is way more likely to purchase a Death Cab album.

I don't see this going through. Tab sites spark interest in purchasing music, and like del Greco said, if you aren't content with a tab you can buy a tab book for some of the older, more popular bands.